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Disney to embark on publishing venture

The media giant and Rolling Stone publisher Wenner Media unveil plans for a new entertainment publishing company.

    Walt Disney and Rolling Stone publisher Wenner Media on Tuesday unveiled plans for a new entertainment publishing company.

    Under the agreement, Disney and Wenner will each own 50 percent interest in the new venture, dubbed Us Weekly--after one of Wenner's New York-based publications.

    The new publishing company will cross-promote Disney's offerings and the Us Weekly magazine.

    "There are many ways to expand the (Us Weekly) brand through Disney properties," a representative for the magazine said.

    Plans for the new venture include developing Us Weekly entertainment awards for ABC Entertainment as well as featuring magazine correspondents on ABC TV programs such as "Good Morning America." Walt Disney Internet Group is also exploring ways to promote Us Weekly's content.

    The joint venture comes as media companies brace for competition from newly merged AOL Time Warner, which is aggressively cross-promoting products and services between its online and offline arms.

    Us Weekly started as a bimonthly publication in 1977 and was acquired by Wenner Media in 1986. Last year, the magazine moved to a weekly publication schedule, boosting its newsstand sales, company executives said.

    Wenner Media also owns Rolling Stone and Men's Journal, but neither are involved in the new project.